There were 683,000 new houses sold in the United States in 2019. But whether you just moved in or you’ve lived in your current home for years, water damage can easily occur. In fact, according to a recent report, one in 50 homeowners filed a water damage claim every year between 2013 and 2017.
The Types of Water Damage
The first step in addressing water damage in your home is to recognize each of the three types. They are:
- Clean water damage: This is the least severe type of water damage. It is considered the least severe because it involves water that is sewage or toxin-free. This type of water damage can often easily be dried and fixed without a lasting effect.
- Grey water damage: This category of water damage is more severe than clean water damage because it is typically caused by toilets or sump pumps. When grey water damage occurs, it needs to be cleaned up and the area must be disinfected quickly.
- Black water damage: This category of water damage can cause health issues because it typically involves sewage and rising river or groundwater. To get rid of the evidence of this water damage, you may have to remove pieces of the damaged area and disinfect the area.
While there really isn’t a “good” type of water damage, black water damage is certainly the worst of the three. In any case, you’ll need to take swift action if you spot signs of water damage.
The Causes of Water Damage
A study released by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration in 2002 estimated that the direct cost of corrosion in the United States was $276 billion each year. Corroded or damaged pipes can be one possible cause of water damage, as this can cause hidden leaks in your plumbing system. But it’s not the only cause.
Some of the other causes of water damage include:
- Plumbing issues inside your walls when the pipe joints are not fully attached
- Crawl space, basements, or attics that collect moisture and where mold can eventually grow
- Household appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators that have pipes that begin to rust or crack
- Weather-induced water damage such as flooding and hurricanes
The Signs of Water Damage
While you may not always know when water damage is happening in your home, there are some signs you can be on the lookout for. These can let you know when some action may need to be taken. These signs include:
- Dark or wet spots on the ceiling or interior and exterior walls of your home
- Cracking or flaking of your wall paint
- Dripping water that results in puddles of water
- An increase in your water bills
- An increase of damp, musty, or moldy smells in your house
How Can Water Damage Be Prevented?
When dealing with water damage, it’s important to act immediately. The priority is to safely find and stop the leak so you can prevent any further damage. From there, you should contact your insurance company to determine if the damage is a covered loss.
With that question answered, you will next need to dry out the area where the water damage occurred and check for mold. To prevent mold after the water damage has occurred, you may need to call in professional help. Finally, once the leak and damage have been controlled, you can begin to repair the area.
Water damage can have a devastating effect on a home. But if you know the warning signs and are swift to deal with it, you can have it repaired so your home is ready to live in again.